The two most commercially important species are J. regia for timber and nuts, and J. nigra for timber. Both species have similar cultivation requirements and are widely grown in temperate zones.
Walnuts are light-demanding species that benefit from protection from wind. Walnuts are also very hardy against water.
Interplanting walnut plantations with a nitrogen fixing plant such as Elaeagnus × ebbingei or E. umbellata, and various Alnus species results in a 30% increase in tree height and girth (Hemery 2001).
When grown for nuts care must be taken to select cultivars that are compatible for pollination purposes, although some cultivars are marketed as "self fertile" they will generally fruit better with a different pollination partner. There are many different cultivars available for growers, offering different growth habit, flowering and leafing, kernel flavour and shell thickness. A key trait for more northerly latitudes of N. America and Europe is phenology, with ‘late flushing’ being particularly important to avoid frost damage in Spring. Some cultivars have been developed for novel ‘hedge’ production systems developed in Europe and would not suit more traditional orchard systems.